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Audition Requirements

All applicants are offered an audition. During this audition, applicants must perform a set of AYO orchestral excerpts, and a short piece of their choosing.


Orchestral excerpts

Once you have submitted your application, you will have immediate access to the 2019 audition excerpts.

Things to consider when preparing your excerpts:

  • Take time to learn more about the background of each work
  • Listen to an orchestral recording of the work to hear your part played in context
  • Look carefully at tempo, dynamic and articulation markings, and consider them when preparing each excerpt. Metronome markings are provided as an indication
  • Seek the guidance of your instrumental teacher in preparing your excerpts
  • Bear in mind that the excerpts are of varying difficulty. Younger or less experienced players should not be disheartened by a difficult excerpt – play it more slowly if necessary
  • The panel will ask to hear a selection of the excerpts you have prepared, so do not be concerned if you’re not asked to play them all


Piece of your own choice

All applicants (except percussion and timpani) are required to perform a short piece of their own choice, without an accompanist. Applicants are strongly advised to check the selection of their piece with their instrumental teacher.

Applicants are not required to present complete works – a carefully selected passage of a longer piece is acceptable. The audition panel may elect to hear only part of your piece.

Please choose a work, or section of a work, which:

  • Clearly demonstrates your technical proficiency and musicianship
  • Presents contrasting musical material
  • Is no more than 5 minutes in length


Assessment criteria

Throughout the entire audition the panel will assess you on the following criteria:

  • The performance clearly demonstrates the applicant’s technical proficiency
  • The performance emphasises the applicant’s musicianship
  • The performer should aim for accuracy and precise rhythm
  • The performer should display good intonation and beauty of sound


Audition panel

To ensure that all applicants are assessed in a fair and equitable manner, the Australian Youth Orchestra tours audition panels around Australia to assess both live and recorded auditions. The audition panel is made up of experienced musicians, teachers and professionals from the music industry. They are skilled in the assessment of instrumental auditions, and will accurately assess your performance on the day of your audition.

The results of your audition are completely confidential and will not be discussed outside AYO, nor will they be made available to any other organisation. AYO will make an audio-visual recording of all live auditions for archival purposes.


Recorded auditions

Recorded auditions are mandatory for applicants auditioning on piano, harp, and as part of an established ensemble.

In some circumstances, it is permitted for other applicants to submit a recorded audition. Applicants may submit a recorded audition in the following conditions:

  • If an applicant lives in a regional area and, as a result, cannot attend a live audition at one of the listed audition locations
  • If an applicant will be overseas for the day of your audition
  • If an applicant is unwell on the day of their audition
  • If an applicant has a school or university exam on the day of their audition

Recorded auditions must be submitted via the AYO Community Hub between 9 July and 3 August, along with a recorded audition verification form. Download recorded audition guidelines and verification form here.


Auxiliary instruments

Wind instrument applicants are encouraged to audition on their respective doubling instrument(s) as well as their primary instrument. Applicants will be assessed on both their primary and their auxiliary instrument(s) within the same audition. You will need to prepare excerpts for your auxiliary instrument(s), but not an own-choice piece. AYO may be able to assist you in sourcing auxiliary instruments for audition purposes.